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In touch with Iraq to bring back mortal remains of Indians: MoS V.K. Singh

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New Delhi [India] | March 20, 2018 12:01:13 AM IST
Minister of State (MoS) for External Affairs V.K. Singh on Tuesday stated that the legal procedures were underway to obtain the mortal remains of the 39 Indians killed in Iraq.

He further said that it would take around eight to ten days to bring back the mortal remains.

"Different news came from different angles, hence an effort was made to verify facts by going there. Then DNA matching was done. Sushma Swaraj ji had earlier stated that until there is strong proof of their death she will not inform the house," he told ANI.

"There was hope, but then seeing the situation there were chances of them being alive seemed slim. Legal procedures are underway there (in Iraq). We are in touch with the Iraqi government. It might take 8-10 days for us to retrieve the mortal remains. We are waiting for them to complete," he added.

On being asked about the uproar created by the Opposition in the Lok Sabha when External Affairs Minister (EAM) Sushma Swaraj tried to talk on the Iraq issue, Singh underscored that it was the "job of the opposition to take things in the wrong way."

The opposition parties led by Congress held massive protests when Swaraj tried to deliver a statement in the Lok Sabha on the death of 39 Indians in Iraq''s Mosul.

The EAM earlier confirmed on Tuesday that all the 39 Indians, who went missing in Mosul in the year 2014, were killed by the Islamic State (IS).

She further said that the mortal remains were sent to Baghdad. For verification of bodies, DNA samples of the deceased relatives were sent in the Iraqi capital.

"We used a deep penetration satellite to see a mass grave. It had exactly 39 bodies with distinctive features like long hair, non-Iraqi shoes, and IDs. We requested that the bodies be brought out exhumed. This confirmed the death of all 39 Indian nationals," Swaraj informed.

She further said that the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) had got information that DNA samples of 38 people have matched and the DNA of the one person has matched only 70 percent.

The 39 persons, most of whom hailed from Punjab, were working on projects near Mosul when they were kidnapped during their evacuation. (ANI)

 
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